How to Clean a Piano Black Finish (August 2022)?

Cleaning the piano is a must to enhance its longevity. It is important to offer proper care and maintenance to prevent the settlement of dust and perspiration on the piano and also to prevent the harmful particles from damaging it extensively. It is also appropriate to choose the right type of cleaning products to clean the piano, especially its black finish.

A well-maintained piano instrument not just looks good, but it comes with a good sound as well. though it is required to perform a thorough cleaning on the piano every day, the pianist should make it a habit of dusting the piano with a soft cloth after each time they play. It is important to make sure that there is no sweat or oil residue that is left on the instrument. Following this cleaning after playing habit will avoid seeking professional help often.

Though the entire piano requires thorough and frequent cleaning, the black finish of the piano demands special care, as it is slightly different and features a different finish. On the ebony black finish, pianos develop slight scratches and streaks and they get easily visible on them. Thus it is important to take good care of the piano and harsh cleaning products should not be applied to these special musical instruments. 

Cleaning and Polishing the Piano

It is understood that the black portion of these pianos is very special and is the delicate part of the instrument. Thus, it is highly recommended that we make use of appropriate products and essentials for cleaning and polishing the piano. Products that are great for ebony black piano works pretty well with both poly and lacquer finishes, and if commercial cleaning products are not available, even mild soap and water for cleansing will work wonders. On the black key tops of the piano, the black lacquer finish polish can be applied to protect its wood from being damaged. It will also project a luxurious look on the piano.

There are chances for dirt and fingerprint to damage the black keys and cause smudges on them. For a regular cleaning routine, gentle wiping with a damp cloth and dusting it with a cleaning cloth should be fine. For cleaning and wiping the piano keys, silicone-based products should not be used. Some people prefer polishing the piano but over-layering chemicals on the keys on the surface of the instrument could cause more harm to the keys than good. Polishing the black keys should be done only when necessary and shouldn’t be made a habit.

Piano Black Finish

The Best Cleaning Procedure for the Black Finishes of Piano

For everyday cleaning of the piano, most of us resort to cleaning the piano with a clean and damp cloth, immediately followed by cleaning with a dry cloth. For stubborn stains, we can try using a mild soap solution for wiping. But there is a specific step-by-step procedure to clean and care for the black finishes of the piano.   

1. Focus on the dust first

The first step before initiating the cleaning process is to remove the dust. Accumulation of dust could create scratches on the finishing of the instrument. Gently dust the key surfaces with a feature duster then use a soft cloth slightly dipped in water to wipe off the dust. The cloth should not be rough or coarse and shouldn’t be excessively wet.

2. Following a precise wiping pattern

Many times, after a formal cleaning, the streaks will be visible on the surface of the piano and this is owing to the circular wiping pattern that people follow in cleaning the piano keys. The most appropriate cleaning pattern is to use long and straight strokes and while wiping the keys with a damp and soft fabric, they should be cleaned immediately with a dry cotton cloth. Such a cleaning method will allow developing puddling and streaking.

3. Soap and water are best for cleaning

Soap and water are ideal for cleaning than other cleaning products that are available in the market. But only a mild soap should be used and for cleaning the ebony black keys, the soap solution of 50-50 concentrations should be used, even if the stains and dirt are hard. It is also a good idea to use oil soap, as it works great with wood.

4. Using denatured alcohol with water for cleaning

One exceptional cleaning solution that works great for the piano black finishes is a mixture of water and denatured alcohol. In this alcohol, the content of ethanol is very mild and it is been adjusted to work as a cleaning agent for furniture finishes. One part of alcohol should be diluted in two parts of water to make it a perfect cleaning solution. The solution can be applied to areas of tough grime and mold with the help of a micro fabric cleaning material. After cleaning, the surface should be wiped dry.

5. Polishing

This is an optional step, but when done, it can render an excellent shine on the piano. But if the choice has been made to use a polish, then it should be tested for compatibility in an inconspicuous area. Buffer polish solution can be used to remove minor scratches from the piano. Significant scratches require professional assistance

Things to avoid while cleaning the black finish of the piano:

  • Rough handling and rubbing should be avoided completely while cleaning the piano
  • Furniture polish should never be used to clean the black finishes of the piano
  • Regular window sprays should not be used to remove tough stains and dirt as water can enter the insides of the piano.
  • Pledge should not be used to clean the piano as the chemical can damage its finish.

Bottom Line

There is nothing more satisfactory than to have a clean piano. the instrument looks great with its characteristic shine when it is cleaned regularly and appropriately. It also reflects on how best we care for the instrument. Cleaning the ebony finish of the piano is easy and simple, but is also the trickiest to attempt.

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Being in love with music, Larry started this website to help piano lovers get the most detailed and accurate information with his 5 Years of experience of working in a music store.

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